[OpEd] The Fine Line Between Drama and The Law

(Originally posted on Facebook. Re-printed with permission)

Written by Bart of Team Misaki Studios, content contributor to Scarlet Rhapsody

I’ve been reading so many responses in light of recent events, it’s very interesting to read many perspectives from start to finish. But my first question to many of you for those who actually took the time to analyze every tiny aspect of this, how many of you can truly understand the situation at hand?

Well here comes my 2 cents but I speak from a psychological perspective as a human being and as a peace officer.

“This is drama.” I’m sorry to say but this is no longer drama, it is a “legal issue.” Drama nowadays as defined by the community is an issue of personal indifferences between one or a group of people who disagree with issues and or cause harm to other in the form of harassment and verbal abuse.

Is this so called “Drama” what it is? No, sorry to say it’s officially a “legal issue.” Because a penal code in the State of California and the Federal Laws of the United States have been breached on a serious level.

Now many of you who are quote “defending” the Defendant I hate to say this but if the evidence has been presented from various confirmed sources speak for itself, it’s time to honestly reevaluate yourself because in our society as a whole (not just cosplay people there are others out there) 1 out of 1000 people could potentially be a sexual predator. A lil random facts for your thoughts, Over half (56%) of kids sexually solicited online were asked to send a picture; 27% of the pictures were sexually-oriented in nature. 44% of sexual solicitors were under the age of 18. This my friends is our society, it’s the real truth, whether we want to believe it or still keep being in a state of denial is the harsh truth. Many of you ask how does one put up a good persona with the intentions of good and keep a dark secret such as this in the backgrounds. The sad truth is, now adays in our community many people seem to build trust to quickly around people and overlook any possible signs that may occur when one presents themselves. Can both parties be at fault for this? Yes and no. Here’s why I say that.

Why Yes? Simple really, someone who is easily to trusting can fall victim into the hands of a sexual predatory in a heartbeat, this prevents the victim from noting the signs of danger when they easily give in to easily to a predator. Thus allowing a predator to take advantage of the victim knowing full how they have gained their trust and make use of using words of persuasion to mislead them into a potentially dangerous situation that can harm the victim. Some of us are guilty of trusting to easily, some people tend to not really think about taking the time to know someone to really give them their trust.

Why No? Many people will probably say because the predatory has already staked its claim. Yes this is true, but how does it end up that way? Occasionally from time the time if the predatory has made a name for themselves within a community and has gained the trust of the public, it allows them to slowly take a minor course of action to slowly gain the trust of their victims in order to gain their support. Whether it be by force or through slow means of gaining trust, at the end of the day, the predator has already set their sights for the prize.

Now onto the next topic, how does a predator gain access to their victims? I hate to be the one to say this but using other people while at the same time making a name for themselves is one of the many used methods in this day and age. Not just in this community but in society as well. For many of us who find it hard to believe this really did happen, at the end of the day, it’s the grim truth whether we want to believe it or not. Many of us are probably still in denial because they don’t know what to feel. And you know what? It is ok, denial is always the easiest method to cope with this type of situation because lets be honest how many of us have been through something as grizzly as this? I will be amazed if someone has because this is a rare thing to happen within this community. But does that discredit the fact that it’s still out there? Absolutely not! Because it’s there, sometimes we overlook it a lot. So why do we overlook it? Well here are some reasons why many people tend to overlook this.

“That’s just who they are.” Lets be honest how many of us saw this person act the way they do and say “that’s just who they are, it’s normally for them to act like this.” Going back to my point before, if you have gained someone’s trust, then they will not think differently of you when you say or act a certain way because now they believe this is who you normally are and it’s no big deal. Here’s the sad part, we are “ALL” guilty of letting this slide, because as mentioned when we trust someone we tend to overlook signs of potential threats because we feel this is how the person normally is. For those who had a feeling that this was wrong from the start, this next statement is for you.

Now you’re probably saying wait if we are ALL guilty how can those who had bad vibes about this person be guilty? It’s a simple fact really, because we’re scared. In our state of mind when we analyze a person and can tell right off the bat this is not a good person to be around, for that the best course of action without getting involved would be guess what? Ignoring the problem (which many of us are guilty of) and then letting it run its course. By letting it run its course you’re making the problem worse for yourself and for those around you because you’re allowing this predatory to gain access to potentially more victims. Now for the next part, and this is for many people who were scared about this.

“I’m afraid of retaliation because of how popular they are in the community.” Lets face it, word of mouth travels fast in the cosplay community, you’re seeing it right now with this issue. You know what, if you don’t speak up for yourself then you’re going to see the harsh reality of when it blows over. Look around right now, practically every person in the entire country are learning about this right now as we speak. People left and right are voicing their anger, disgust, outrage, disbelief, and what not. But you as a person have every right to speak up about the person, because in the end if said person retaliates towards you, it can and will be used against them in the court of law. You are protected, so what if a bunch of their friends defend them, let them, because one day the truth will reveal itself. Don’t ever feel that you’re alone in this issue, there is guaranteed that someone out there knows your pain and will help you come to light with this. No matter how well known someone is in the community, do not be afraid to stand up for yourself. You will be protected.

“They have done so much for the community, they brought us closer together as a whole.” As much as I don’t want to discredit this fact, but truth be told. Given the nature at hand we can’t honestly see this fact as valid and here is why. Lets go back to the earlier to a fact I mentioned earlier in this write up “how does a predator gain access to their victims? I hate to be the one to say this but using other people while at the same time making a name for themselves is one of the many used methods in this day and age. Not just in this community but in society as well.” Did this person really have the intent to do good for this community? The sad truth is, none of us know. How “can” we know? We’re not this person. To use this argument is a sign of denial and uncertainty. Here’s why, we’ve known said person for many years and see the good they do for others. When you leave a good impression on others you then find yourself in a comfort spot with them knowing they could potentially do you no harm. The sad truth is this is how sexual predators work. They gain your trust to the point where you will not think differently to them when are then able to perform their predatory attacks on others while keeping their good intentions at bay with the community. Now adays with social media and I hate to say this, lack of proper education on how to look out for predators, it’s easy to assume that said person could not be the kind of person to do harm. Yes all of us are taught differently on how to treat people and how to lookout for potential threats but there’s a common ground where we have to stop and really analyze every aspect on what is being done about said person. Which we all must honestly ask ourselves, did this person really have that intention to bring us closer together? I’m sorry to say this everyone but that question will never be answered nor will we ever obtain the truth. Given the serious situation at hand, I’m afraid this fact is no longer valid with our community nor as an argument until we hear from the person themselves.

Now this next topic is probably gonna be a real teeth grinder, but please read this very carefully.

“They have a child, we see they love them very much, how could someone do something like that when they have a child?” First and foremost it doesn’t matter what background you come from and what you have right now. The sad truth is yes there are predators who have families, some with kids. As said we all have a secret dark part of our lives that we do and hide it from others, even from our own families. Now for those of you who watch movies, there are several out there that show the villain who has a family and is doing crazy stuff without them knowing and are presented as a heartwarming person with their family. Sad truth is, this is real. I’m sure when they have to hear about their significant other has been caught doing something extremely bad of course they will be heart broken. Why? Because they were deceived for so many years. Now I’m not a parent and for those who are more worried about their child? I hate to say it but you have no right to be worried because here’s why. In this country if a parent (especially divorced) is committed for a crime and has a child, the child will “not” be sent off to another family. The first thing that will be conducted will be to contact the other parent, if the parent cannot be reached, a guardian of the family (such as aunts uncles and what not) will be contacted. It is extremely rare for another family member to say no to taking in a child. Key word, very rare. So if you’re worried about them going to a complete new family they do not know. That is the least of your worries. As I said many of us are not parents so we can’t speak from personal experiences on this matter, we just have to hope for the best and nothing more. You can’t use this argument to give someone a benefit of the doubt because like said, even predators have families. Whether we want to believe it or not, it’s the grim truth. Predators from many backgrounds, not all predators have had bad child hood or lived an awful life. Some people who have lived good lives have been known to be predators as well. There’s no regulations about what it takes to be a sexual predator so please reconsider this fact before thinking about saying this person has a child.
My final fact about this ordeal

“The victims should’ve said no and none of this would’ve happened in the first place.” Lets get something straight here, none of us were there, none of us went through this. Saying no to a sexual predator if easier said than done. Each predator is different and how they approach their victims is unique. When you’re in the state of fear, your mind tends to go in many different directions without any clear indication on where to go. Why? Because you fear for your life and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. There is many factors that go through the mind of a victim depending on the situation they are in. For example if they said no, could the predator potentially cause even more harm to them? Absolutely! In all honesty there is no “right” way to get out of this situation, sometimes the right course of action may not be the one you like but if it’s the only way to guarantee your safety, then you’ll have to bear it. Victims are in the heat of the battle they have to deal with, not you. They know the situation better than anyone else for that moment. As mentioned there as many factors that tie into this issues, what may work for one situation may not work for the other. To say no, doesn’t guarantee anything for this issue. It’s possible it could potentially be life and death. Luckily this is not the case. What we see if a common trend of word choice, convincing, and under minding people. As I’ve brought up, gaining someone’s trust is one way to make yourself be trustworthy. However the one thing all the victims have in common is fear that they will not be taken seriously given the popularity of said person. Remember, you are not the one in this situation, they are. It’s hard to stand up to yourself when one has a more prominent role in this community and thus the victims are now left with making the biggest decision of their lives that could potentially tarnish their names. It’s a factor now human being wants to be put through but it’s the sad truth, they want to be freed from this issue. So I conclude this fact by saying you were not there, they were, so stop saying just saying no is the best way to get out of a situation. Because sometimes no isn’t always going to work. We’ve seen the evidence that when no was said, the issue was still being pressed.

My final conclusion to this whole ordeal, look around you everyone. We’re being divided into practically two different groups whether is for or against this issue. For those who are trying to be neutral about this, I hate to say this but this is an issue were unfortunately there is no neutral grounds. The grim reality of it is a felony was committed and now their actions have spoken louder than words. As most peace officers say if you start to run, it pretty much means you are guilty of something, regardless of your background. Know this, this isn’t just a community issue, it’s always been a society issue. The fact that it hit many of us close to home, we don’t want to believe it. We don’t want to accept it, but such is life. Awhile back I use to think there would never be any school shooting hitting this area…until that faithful morning at Hillsdale High School, my life changed because of it. Sure I may have graduated from a different school but the fact is, it hit home, a place where you’re supposed to feel most safe. It doesn’t matter where you go in life, these issues are out there and they are real. We can’t predict when they will happen, but we can help prevent them by speaking up about it when the signs become known. We have a justice system setup to protect people from people like this. To say that by them running away from a potential lynch mob and say that’s their punishment is not how our justice system works. The sad truth is, that won’t stop them from starting over again in a new town with a new identity. For cases like this, there are no 2nd chances, no matter how good of a persona they gave us, there’s honestly no way for us to really confirm if all the good this person has done for the community was truly for the community or for personal gain. I’m afraid that answer will never be revealed. Because at the end of the day, child pornography is still child pornography and sexual predators are out there seeking under age minors or legal age adults. This was never a cosplay community issue from the start everyone, it’s been apart of our society for many years and it seems to finally have made its way into our community.
If you have managed to read all of this, I applaud your time and your patience with me. We all have different opinions on this matter, my point of this write up is to help understand how a situation like this plays a role in our community. We’re all in this together whether we like it or not, we must help make people feel safe without the need to cry wolf at innocent people who are truly say who they are. In my 13 years of being in this community, this is by far the most unfortunate scandal I’ve ever witnessed. So I ask many of you, to ask yourselves, what can I do to help others not go through this again, what can I do to show that said person isn’t who they are. The answer to that question,

Speak your mind out, let the world know, there are others who may share you pain and will help you. You are not alone on these issues.

And that is my 2 cents…..

– Bart of Team Misaki

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